Officials in Anhui province said on Friday that the amount of its overseas investment grew nearly threefold by the end of June, to $610 million.
According to figures from the Anhui Provincial Bureau of Commerce, its investment in six countries along the Belt and Road trade routes alone reached $280 million.
Zhan Xialai, the province’s executive vice-governor, said it will continue to encourage its own State-owned enterprises to invest in countries along the Belt and Road, and is also aiming to help 1,000 non-State companies “go global” in future.
Anhui’s Governor Li Jinbin said the province is also working flat out at attracting some 100 overseas firms to invest there next year, and various negotiations are ongoing on cooperation deals with SOEs and private firms.
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, is a trade and infrastructure network that includes the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The network connects Asia, Europe and Africa and passes through more than 60 countries and regions with a population of about 4.4 billion.
Li said Anhui currently has 88 listed companies, ranking it ninth in number in the country and first in China’s central region. One of those is Anhui Conch Cement Company Ltd.
Ding Feng, Anhui Conch’s deputy general manager, said the firm already has 790 staff working overseas, and that number is expected to grow this year.
The company, with total assets of 109.45 billion yuan ($17.38 billion) by the end of June, is operating seven projects in Indonesia, three in Myanmar, two in Laos and one in Cambodia, while negotiations are currently ongoing in the Russian regions of Ulyanovsk and Chelyabinsk.
Ding said the Wuhu-based Anhui Conch is currently one of the largest cement manufacturer in China. Its total income hit 52.46 billion yuan during the first six months, 146 million yuan of which came from overseas operations.
The first phase of its project in South Kalimantan in Indonesia, for instance, which began production in 2013, cost 1.51 billion yuan to set up, and produced 320,000 tons of clinker during the first half of the year.